Saturday, December 15, 2012


I wasn't going to write about today's tragedy again. Needless to say, I am sickened, scared, and so very completely grief-stricken. This hits home. In my very home...This wounds my very heart.
It seems like in many ways, the last thing anybody needs is one more person writing about it. Yet, I feel very strongly that, it is important to say a few important things about this day.

First, this is for they; those beautiful little souls that will now shine more radiantly than ever-known on earth. They live now fully alive in Heaven. But maybe we can't think of Heaven yet; maybe the best we can do is grieve and hold on tightly to others and to the last little things they held. So, this is also for those left here without their Little Loves, without their Sunspots, without the Loves of Their Life. Maybe the most we can do is light a candle and love them, and pray for them, and weep with them.

Second, this is for all of us; this is for Hope because without Hope, we will be in one hot mess.

That's what I said: hope. And no, I would not be writing about hope were I one of the many, too many, parents that did not get to embrace their child today. I'd be beating my breast; wailing; cursing. I'd be shattered. But since for some reason today, I have been spared this, I see the that I can't remain as one beating my breast and wailing. Hope is needed. It's needed because there are far too many moments just in one day that I fear for my children's safety. Everywhere. On the street corner, at school, while we're driving, at night before bed. And, the fact that the single most horrific event occurred today without any heed, without any warning, without any possible way for a human to have controlled it otherwise, has me trying to figure out how to uproot our family and start a Christian commune somewhere in the middle of Switzerland. We'll live off of Calliptamus italicus (grasshoppers) and berries. 

But, since I cannot imagine Switzerland taking us into residency any time soon, I acknowledge that it is in these times the remedy usually has to do with something that feels impossible. Hope feels a little impossible right now, doesn't it? Well, I hope that, my precious children can grow up experiencing the freedom to experience freedom...I hope that they can do this unmolested of evils. I hope that they are spared tragedies, such as these. I hope that they can grow and love and create and inspire things all leading back to our Creator...I hope these things with all of my heart. Will I be answered of these hopes? Are they in vain? I believe that, while I don't know the future, it is never vain to hope when our hopes are well-rooted.

I'm not trying to sound more profound than I am capable of being--I am talking about a specific kind of hope here. I am talking about what real hope is: the belief and knowledge beyond all reason that there is good..And, that ultimately, good will win. There is purpose even after the flood. That, even if the worst happens, there is a reason to go on. One of the things I love about Hope, is that Hope is a realist. Genuine hope comes from a little faith, and yet, knows how close despair can feel because hope is often occurring in the midst of struggle. Hope is not necessarily a means to a brief end; I can hope to look like Scarlett Johansen by the next time I get to mirror, but that's just absurd. That's a vain hope because hope is not a "wish", set to come  true simply because a falling star shot out into the sky. It is a real grace that can unfold within us.  So, on the other hand, I can hope to purchase a home that is best for my family and save, save, save money like mad and do all the right things. It's possible though, that my hopes to find it within a certain amount of time even though good and sensible, can be dashed when some other financial thing happens, setting us back into a situation like living with family, that was not part of my plan. Were my hopes in vain? Yes, if the point of finding a home had to do with a specific date and my parameters only. But no not in vain if you then see a purpose even in the chaos. Maybe it brought you closer to your family. Maybe in your insanity of being so close with your family, you discover a heck of a lot about yourself. Who knows. That's the beauty of hope; not one looks like the other, and a fruit of hope is often peace. (Who couldn't use a little peace around here??)

I'm trying to say that, for people like me that are tempted to be so enraged at this helplessness and terrified by it as well,  maybe if we let that tiny, small, minuscule even, flicker of light I call Hope prevail, it might start a flame. Maybe, it will assist us somehow, in not living in fear. Maybe then, I won't let my children live in fear. I realize that I don't have control over insane people who choose to do evil things. Yet, it is a legitimate fear. It may not really even be a choice to fear the things we do as parents but it is a choice as to what we do with our fears and how we direct them around our children. Admittedly, this is tricky as hell; I still don't know what I am going to say to the boys, or how little or how much. It is an evil unholy day indeed when we have to be in situations where we have to share these things at all because they're so rampant. What do the parents in other countries say? Other parents in other countries that regularly hear bombs and gunshots going off because it is simply where they live? I don't know. Is the answer moving to another country, moving to another school, or saying "To Hell with it, we're homeschooling! Those *looneys keepin' their kids at home all day had it right afterall!"? 
I don't know, but you can bet your boots I thought of all of that. Clearly, it's also not enough to just sit around praying and hoping all day. That is not what I'm saying either. I don't think it's about any perfect answer, but hope is a good place to begin. I have a very dear friend that a few years ago, had a great loss. At the delivery of her twins, she lost one, while the other lived. It was a most tragic, heartbreaking event in many people's lives, not only my friend and her husband's. I asked her at the time, "Are you able to...even think about what this all means?" She had said still so eloquently, "No...I can't even pray. But, I know there's a Resurrection. That promise is a promise. It's a done deal. That's where my hopes are." Very recently, she held a party for her daughters; a birthday for the one here on earth, and a memorial for the one she lost to Heaven. She stated, "God, you really have made this something I could have not. We didn't think we'd ever survive this loss...Surely, you didn't desire [our] sorrow and bitterness but, you knew our hearts...The hope from this is that [she] lives though in Heaven, just as alive and present in our hearts, as we could have even hoped for..." 

There is nothing that will be comparable or make less of today. Nor should there be. But, I say that I have seen some who have seemed to have lost everything, only to speak of Hope. 
That is where my hopes are on a day where I desire to offer hope where it is needed...

*Looney: first of all, I think this is spelled wrong. Secondly, let me clarify that this is tongue-in-cheek because while I truly think there is something a little crazy about wanting all of your kids home all day, I kid because, I marvel at the parents that have the smarts, the patients, and seriously amazing organizational skills to pull off something like home-schooling!...!!

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